Selected 2021 World Car Awards Person of the Year was Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) president and CEO.
“Akio Toyoda is the charismatic President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. He has spent years successfully remaking his company. In 2020 despite COVID-19, under his leadership Toyota remained profitable, protecting jobs worldwide. He has maintained Toyota’s steady pace of development in the connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) era. He has also initiated construction of the Woven City, an exciting, real-life prototype city of the future. All while actively participating in motorsports himself, as a driver,” said the World Car Awards in a statement.
Toyoda said, “At Toyota, we are very fortunate that we were able to protect the employment of our team members during COVID-19 and continue our work to meet the future challenge of our industry. Creating new ways to support the well-being of our planet and people everywhere is our commitment. This has been a difficult period in the history of the world. But it has also reminded us that people are what matters most. And if we at Toyota can contribute some measure of happiness to their lives, it will be my never-ending goal to do just that.”
Toyota joined the company in 1984, after graduating with a law degree from Keio University. He also received a masters in business administration from Wellesley, Massachusetts’ Babson College. Toyoda served in different areas of the business in Japan and overseas, before becoming a member of the TMC board of directors in 2000. He held other senior and executive vice-presidential roles until becoming TMC president in 2009.
The World Car Person of the Year award was established in 2018 to acknowledge the contributions made by an individual in the auto industry during the previous year. The World Car Awards program hands out six awards annually, which they started doing in 2003. A group of more than 90 journalists, none of whom are a part of TheTruthAboutCars.com, made the selection.
[Images: Toyota, Babson College]